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This is just a quick tip for those of you that are traveling by car this summer… If you want to shave a few bucks off the cost of your travels, consider using your smartphone to find the best gas prices.
By far the best service that I’ve found for this is GasBuddy.com, which has free iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps. And no, I don’t have any affiliation with them. I’m just a fan.
Here’s how it works: Simply download the app, fire it up, and hit the button to “Find Gas Near Me.”
You’ll be presented with a list of nearby gas stations along with their prices (assuming that any users have provided them — the data is all crowd-sourced). You can sort the list by price or distance, or you can view it on a map.
When used locally, the app can help you get a feel for overall pricing patterns in your area and help to identify gas stations with the most consistently low prices. While it’s not worth driving too far out of your way to save a few cents per gallon, you may be able to tailor your behavior to fill up the tank whenever you’re in the right neighborhood.
When used on the road, the potential savings are bigger, especially when you’re crossing state lines. Gas prices can differe widely along a stretch of highway, and even mores as you’re crossing into a state with significantly higher (or lower) gas taxes. So whenever you’re starting to think about stopping for gas, have your co-pilot fire up the app and look down the road for the best deal.
No, this won’t result in earth-shattering savings, but every little bit helps. And keep in mind… This system is only as good as the data that users put into it, so please consider submitting a price update when you’re standing at the pump.